If you are a year out you are a little early, however you would first sit down with a local and trusted mortgage broker, they can pre approve you for a mortgage, they will tell you what price rang you should look in, how much you will need for a down payment and closing costs and what your monthly paymenjt will be. Your next step is interview a buyer broker than can assist you in finding houses to drive by and get inside to see. in most cases you can negotiate with a buyer broker so that it does not costs you jmanything out of pocket as the buyer agent gets paid at closing from the listing broker the fee offered in MLs. This way you have someone looking out for you. good luck with your purchase.